Monday, April 13, 2009


Not just anyone can be a Supervillain. Some people sulk around their respective soap-opera towns doing bad stuff for years and years and still never achieve the coveted status.


ATWT's James Stenbeck is a supervillain (he is threatening an innocent Teddy Bear, for goodness' sake!).

Craig Montgomery just likes to mess with people (Look at the way Craig is holding Johnny versus James with Cabot. You don't get the sense that Craig could twist the kid's head off at any minute).

GH's Helena Cassadine is a supervillain. Sonny Cornithos is just a guy in a perennially bad mood.

DOOL's Stefano DiMera is a supervillain. Sami Brady is just a little girl stuck in a temper tantrum.

GL's Roger Thorpe is a supervillain.

Alan Spaulding is just a big, ol' meanie. (Okay, I'll admit I cheated, that is obviously a picture of actor Ron Raines, not Alan Spaulding, but my assesment still stands.)

(If you disagree, let me know in the Comments section below.)

It takes a special combination of malice, charisma and larger than life, operatic theatricality to make a Supervillain (repeatedly coming back from the dead, as if even Hell itself doesn't want you, is a nice touch, too). It also helps if the baddie in question genuinely and openly revels in his/her badness. A mopey villain who isn't having any fun himself, is certainly no fun for the audience.

Another World had an iconic Supervillain in one Carl Hutchins, played by the very charismatic, very larger than life, very operatic Charles Keating.

How bad was Carl?

He was so bad that when he hooked up with Rachel Cory, the original bad girl of daytime, she was the saint in their relationship.

He was so bad that he could counterfeit, poison, swindle, kidnap and murder... and get away with it.

He was so bad that when a cabal of the people he'd hurt got together to trick Carl into confessing his crimes by drugging the man and reducing him to a nauseated, sweaty, terrified mess, not one good person of Bay City stepped up to point out that their plan was rather sadistic... not to mention illegal.

To watch a Supervillain brought to his knees, tune in to the 1991 Halloween episode of Another World on

But don't worry. Carl will be back. His kind always come back...

Do you have a favorite soap opera Supervillain? Let us know!


schiffeg68 said...

James Stenbeck. Here's to hoping his kind will also keep coming back.

wheelswee said...

I would have liked a little more on Roger Thorpe from GL! He was my all time favorite villian!

Also, love the playful picture of Ron Raines!

Sam Ford said...

He wouldn't really fall in "super villain" territory, but no one could raise more trouble than John Dixon. I'd give anything to see Larry Bryggman back on ATWT's screen, even if just for a limited run...He still lights up the stage around NYC, but John Dixon is the best work of his life...

T L Smeltzer said...

Marcy Rylan recently told one interviewer that "Alan Spaulding is the greatest soap character ever!" I will second that! I began watching GL over 30 years ago because of this complex 'bad guy'. No matter the situation I find myself rooting for Alan. He is certainly multidimensional and Ron Raines manages to pull it off, no matter what is written for the character.